Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Milton Keynes - UK
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Latvia to Southampton
I'm a novice cyclist and an event manager by trade.
I have been asked to head up the organisation of a cycle from Latvia to Southampton in 2013 for a people trafficking charity (I will not be cycling). The first girl they rescued was trafficked from Latvia to Southampton and they are cycling the route she was trafficked to raise awareness and much needed funds to fund the rescue of more trafficking victims in the UK.
I have found this forum really useful for general bits of information. However, I have a few specific questions that I would like to ask to experienced cyclists that would really help me make this a safe and successful trip. I hope I'm not imposing and that this type of use of the forum is acceptable.
I'll tell you what I have in mind already and please feel free to comment, tell me I'm doing it all wrong and (hopefully) offer advice on some or all of it.
What I know already:
Latvia to Southampton
2 weeks (is this realistic?)
I am planning to take a tour bus with beds on board so we don't have to worry about accommodation enroute.
What is the best way of planning a cycle route? I am well versed in planning European tours for bands but these are by car/tour bus so motorways etc are fine. I have been using Google Earth to look at the routes across Europe. Safety is my primary concern.
All cyclists will be experienced.
If it is legal, is it safe to cycle on dual carriageways?
Is a group of 6 cyclists OK together or should I split them into 2 groups?
Do I need to look at wind direction in May across Europe? If so, where do I find out this information and how much of a bearing on us changing the date should it take?
I have planned to bring a Physio/paramedic, bike mechanic and myself as support. Do you foresee us needing anyone else? Some of the cyclists will be able to carry out their own bike maintenance.
Does anyone have any experience cycling across European borders? Do we need any special paperwork?
I am thinking about taking a support van (as well as the tour bus) to drive ahead of the cyclists, plan stops every few hours, deal with any issues and set them off again. Then repeat. Does this sound feasible/a good idea?
I realise some of these questions may sound stupid to some of you experienced cyclists but I would rather ask and sound stupid than guess, get it wrong and fail on the road or even worse, cause someone to have an accident and get injured.
Hope you can help - thanks so much for reading this (if you got this far!).